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5 Best Weight Loss Workouts for Men That Actually Work

Want to lose weight? Try these trainer-approved workouts that are specifically geared to men.
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

When your fitness goal is weight loss, sometimes it can be challenging to determine the most effective plan for you and your body. What works for one person may not work for another, which is why we spoke with Josh Honore, XPRO for STRIDE Fitness on Xponential+, a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, who offers some of his top-recommended weight loss workouts for men that actually work. Paired with a nutritious diet and overall healthy lifestyle habits, you'll be well on your way to losing weight and getting into better shape.

"When it comes to weight loss, exercise is key for two main reasons: increasing daily caloric expenditure and increasing overall metabolism," Honore tells us. "Consider these two factors as short game and long game respectively, and it's a good idea to invest in both. Moving more, through high and low-intensity exercise, as well as building muscle, are key to doing this. Remember that ultimately, weight loss is a result of a caloric deficit and no workout can replace quality nutrition."

So keep reading to learn all about Honore's top-recommended weight loss workouts for men. And when you're finished, don't miss out on A Trainer's 5 Favorite Workouts to Strip Away Love Handles.

Workout #1: The "12-3-30" Treadmill Workout

man on treadmill

If you haven't already heard the hype surrounding the 12-3-30 treadmill workout that went viral on TikTok, it's time to hop on the bandwagon. "This low-intensity workout is fantastic for burning calories and increasing metabolism over time," Honore tells us. "The way you do it is you walk on the treadmill on a 12 incline at three miles per hour for 30 minutes. Walking is one of the safest and most effective weight loss tools, and this workout is a great place for anyone to get started burning calories."

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Workout #2: The "40:20" Workout

older man working out on rowing machine, demonstrating how to regain muscle mass after 60

The 40:20 workout is another routine you can perform on the treadmill, but Honore says using a stationary bike or rower works great as well. Gear up to bring your heart rate "close to its upper limits"—85% of HR max. (Not sure how to calculate your max heart rate? According to the CDC: "To estimate your maximum age-related heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 – 50 years = 170 beats per minute (bpm).")

"To execute, you will work at around 60% effort for 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of 85%+ effort," Honore instructs. "I begin clients with just four rounds and work our way up to 12 rounds. Performing this quick but intense workout once or twice per week is a great way to increase metabolism, burn more calories at rest, and encourage long-term weight loss."

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Workout #3: Lower-Body Strength Training

Building and maintaining muscle is key to keeping your metabolic rate high. "The muscles of the lower body are some of the biggest and strongest in the body," Honore explains. "They contribute heavily to overall muscle mass and metabolism and can contribute to higher testosterone and growth hormone production. For that reason and more, I strongly recommend you don't skip leg day."

Your routine may look a little something like this:

1. Leg Press (3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions)

Sit down at the leg press machine. Plant your feet high on the foot pad just outside your shoulder span, toes pointed out a bit, so your legs form a 90-degree angle. Press your lower back and head into the pad. Push through both heels in order to push the resistance away from you.

2. Dumbbell or Barbell Romanian Deadlifts (3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions)

Stand tall with a dumbbell in each hand in front of you, arms extended. While keeping your chest tall, press your hips back, and lower the weights down your thighs until you reach the middle of your shins. Rise back up.

3. Dumbbell or Barbell Lunges (3 sets of 12 to 16 steps)

Start by standing tall with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your body. Step forward with one leg, bend your knees, and descend into a lunge. Bring your feet back together, and step forward with your other leg.

4. Kettlebell Swings (5 sets of 45 seconds)

Stand up straight, holding a kettlebell with both hands. Engage your core. Bend at the knees, bring the weight of your body to your heels, and push your buttocks back. Press through both heels as your hips come forward and the kettlebell swings up until it reaches chest level.

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Workout #4: The Kettlebell Workout

Now, it's time to grab some kettlebells and put them to good use. "There's strength. There's speed, and then there's power," Honore says. "Power, one could say, is how fast you can be strong. Power training, like HIIT training, triggers hormones and metabolic processes that are key for weight loss. Challenging the muscular system and the cardiovascular system simultaneously makes kettlebell training a great modality for weight loss."

Complete four rounds of the below circuit, and work your way up to eight rounds. Take a break to rest for one minute in between each round.

1. Kettlebell Swings (15 reps)

Stand tall, holding the kettlebell. Activate your core. Bend your knees, bring your body weight to your heels, and press your buttocks back. Press through your heels as your hips move forward and you swing the kettlebell up to about chest level before repeating.

2. Single Kettlebell Cleans (15 reps)

Begin the single kettlebell clean as if you were going to do a swing. Your feet should be planted around hip distance apart. Hinge your hips to grab the kettlebell. Perform a swing, bringing the kettlebell back and between your legs. Then, press your hips forward, straighten out your legs, and squeeze your buttocks to bring the kettlebell up to your chest. Once the weight is at your chest, gently roll it around your wrist.

3. Kettlebell Push Press Left (10 reps)

Begin by standing tall and "tucking" the kettlebell into your left shoulder. Bend both knees and press through your heels to push the kettlebell upward in an almost explosive manner. Your arm should be extended. Use control to lower the weight back down.

4. Kettlebell Push Press Right (10 reps)

Perform the same exercise on your right side.

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Workout #5: Tempo Training

mature man running outdoors

Last but not least, Honore recommends tempo training for weight loss. "Our cardiovascular capacity tells a lot about our metabolic health," Honore says. "Increasing our capacity is a practice great for both weight loss and our overall long-term health."

For this final routine, you will simply choose your favorite form of cardio—running, biking, rowing, etc.—set the timer for 30 minutes, and see how far that timing takes you. "Breathe easy and put in work that you're proud of," Honore encourages. "Continue to perform the workout once or twice weekly giving good effort. Over time, you will notice you are able to perform better and go further in the same amount of time. That's a sign of improved conditioning of the cardiovascular system and a greater ability for the body to burn fat."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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